Melbourne’s Slow Dancer – the moniker of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Simon Okely – recently announced that he signed with Pieater and ATO Records, shared his intoxicating new single ‘Don’t Believe’, toured the country alongside Margaret Glaspy and made his U.S live debut at SXSW. Today the social worker by day, soulful songbird by night releases new single ‘It Goes On’ and reveals the details of his sophomore album, ‘In A Mood’, out June 9.
Simon Okely is lost in time. Or at least, his songs as Slow Dancer sound that way: warm, near-whispered indie-rock love letters to the 60s and 70s rhythm and blues records his parents would play on family car rides down Australia’s winding west coast, heavy on nostalgia and even heavier on imagination. His 2014 debut ‘Surrender’ was a melt-your-heart, Fleetwood Mac-with-Neil Young licks “pop postcard” from another time, another place. Now returning in 2017 with ‘In A Mood’, Okely is aiming even higher, featuring a “more expansive, more ambitious” sound that’s “less about the stories we tell ourselves when in love and more about the moods that can come creeping over a relationship” at any time. It’s no wonder his music is already striking a chord with fans of Mac DeMarco, Tobias Jesso Jr, Connan Mockasin and more, with his latest single accumulating over a quarter of a million Spotify streams in just a few weeks.
Moving to Melbourne from Western Australia in 2013, Okely began writing as Slow Dancer in 2014, naming the project after a lyric from a song on ‘Surrender’ that was “essentially an instruction manual for slow dancing with someone who is experiencing apathy.” Key to the Slow Dancer sound is the environment Okely writes and records in: alone, entirely at night, in a bedroom that “somehow crams in a drum kit, a piano, some guitars, and a bed,” he laughs. “This has always been my journal, my love letter to the music I love. My concentration will always be on making the music that pleases me, and if it pleases other people too, that’s also great. It’s been a wonderful ride so far.”
Simon Okely is lost in time. You should get lost in time with him.